When, in the 1950s, Kibbutz Hatzerim began tending its fields using a new, self-developed drip irrigation system, the young pioneers could never have imagined the revolution they sparked.
This technology not only become a cornerstone of cultivation in the Holy Land, it became an export triumph that made it possible for arid regions around the world to dramatically increase their capability for food production.
The extent to which this idea is helping in the development of international agriculture can be seen by the degree to which the company Netafim is marketing drip irrigation.
The Mexican producers of the plastic tubing typically used in Israeli drip irrigation, Mexichem, have bought an 80-percent share in Netafim for over 1.8 billion dollars (£1.3 billion) from the investment house Permira Funds and other share holders. In 2011, Permira Funds had bought 60 percent of Netafim for just $960,000 (£700,000). Such rapid increase in value is almost unheard of.
Netafim is the largest...
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